HOOK AND FUR
By Bob Brown
Summer fishing is winding down. Autumn is nearly upon us and winter is not far away. For many sportsmen, the month of August is considered the transitory point in their sporting year. Each month afford sportsmen a variety of different recreational activities they can participle in. For instance, it is the arrival of pink salmon to Puget Sound that is this month’s preeminent recreational activity. Nearly six million pink salmon are forecasted to return to Puget Sound this year.
Pink salmon, also known as humpies, are the smallest of the five Pacific salmon species, weighing on average of 3 to 5 pounds, and in Alaska are sometimes referred to as the bread and butter fish. After last year’s mediocre Puget Sound salmon season, they could easily turn out to be the same in our area.
Once pinks enter the rivers, they become very aggressive, and unlike other species that tend to have lockjaw, pinks will put a hit on your bait or lure in a minute if the presentation is correct. It should be noted, if you decide to keep your fish, remember to bleed it immediately and put it on ice as quickly as possible. Pinks lose their tablefare quality very quickly, so it is essential to take care of them. Properly cared for, they are great for barbecuing or in a smoker.
Terry Wiest, renowned guide and author, suggests when fishing for humpies to use a pink or pink/white or frog-colored #1 50/50 Dick Nite spoons. Pink-colored worms also work. Because pinks are a small fish, using light gear and a light rod will increase the fun and excitant when catching these very active fish. Anglers fishing the Puyallup or Nisqually rivers are reminded that barbless hooks are required.
Joe Hymer, supervisory fish biologist for Pacific States Marine Fishery, has reported a possible Washington-record Dorado sport has been caught off Ilwaco. Albert DaSilva of Kelso caught this 16-pound Dorado while fishing for tuna 35 miles out of Ilwaco last Thursday. It was caught on a purple/black clone while trolling. No current sport caught record currently exists in the state of Washington
This month is also the opening of spring black bear hunting. Dave Ware, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) game manager, said hunters will be taking to the field for the first big game hunt of the year. Many others will also be out scouting hunting areas to prepare for deer, elk and cougar seasons beginning in September.
It is also a time when hunters and non-hunters alike need to be aware of their surroundings and give each other some space. Because hunting seasons are now beginning, it might not be a bad idea for visitors to our forests to wear a blaze/orange colored jacket or vest. The idea is to see and be seen. No one needs to be mistaken for a game animal.
Deer hunt deadline
Hunters have until Aug. 15 at midnight to apply for an opportunity to hunt deer this fall on the 6,000-acre Charles and Mary Eder unit of the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area in northeastern Okanogan Country. Eighteen applicants will be chosen during a random drawing to participate in the limited-entry deer hunt for bow hunters (Sept. 1-29), muzzleloaders (Sept. 29-Oct. 7), and hunters using modern firearms (Oct. 13-21). More information can be found on the WDFW website.